Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) had its price target boosted by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley from $170.00 to $195.00 in a research report issued on Thursday, Stock Target Advisor reports. The brokerage presently has an “overweight” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target points to a potential upside of 18.10% from the company’s current price.

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on AAP. ValuEngine raised shares of Advance Auto Parts from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 5th. Bank of America raised their target price on shares of Advance Auto Parts from $86.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 27th. Wedbush set a $175.00 target price on shares of Advance Auto Parts and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Advance Auto Parts from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 6th. Finally, Stephens reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Advance Auto Parts in a report on Friday, July 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $149.84.

Shares of NYSE AAP opened at $165.12 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 1.63, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. Advance Auto Parts has a 52-week low of $78.81 and a 52-week high of $171.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 1.18.

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 14th. The company reported $1.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.86 by $0.11. Advance Auto Parts had a net margin of 5.68% and a return on equity of 13.43%. The firm had revenue of $2.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.26 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.48 earnings per share. Advance Auto Parts’s revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts anticipate that Advance Auto Parts will post 6.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Advance Auto Parts announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, August 14th that permits the company to repurchase $600.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 5.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Nigel Travis purchased 1,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 17th. The shares were bought at an average price of $159.70 per share, for a total transaction of $199,625.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 1,250 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $199,625. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 4.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in AAP. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 24.3% during the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 542,998 shares of the company’s stock valued at $64,372,000 after acquiring an additional 106,252 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 9.0% during the first quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 9,233 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,096,000 after acquiring an additional 765 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 2.1% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 111,312 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,196,000 after acquiring an additional 2,294 shares during the period. Rampart Investment Management Company LLC increased its stake in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 120.0% during the first quarter. Rampart Investment Management Company LLC now owns 2,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $256,000 after acquiring an additional 1,180 shares during the period. Finally, BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp increased its stake in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 13.5% during the first quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 39,627 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,698,000 after acquiring an additional 4,715 shares during the period.

About Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts, Inc provides automotive replacement parts, batteries, accessories, and maintenance items for domestic and imported cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, and light and heavy duty trucks. It offers battery accessories, belts and hoses, brakes and brake pads, chassis and climate control parts, clutches and drive shafts, engines and engine parts, exhaust systems and parts, hub assemblies, ignition components and wires, radiators and cooling parts, starters and alternators, and steering and alignment parts.

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